What You See with Your Eyes is Never the Whole Story

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Any time innocent people are hurt and murdered, it grieves us all. It’s easy to see the stories we read of the attacks and think that what we are seeing is the whole story. But we are reminded in Ephesians 6, that the real battle is taking place on a spiritual stage. And there is likely no soil on earth that has been scorched more by spiritual battle than the very place where Jesus came to earth and conquered sin and death for all of mankind.

Living in this beautiful and broken land, we hear many stories of hurt, fear and anger from our friends on both sides of the line. We are deeply moved by the stories of these people we care so much for, however, as an organization, and in agreement with our partner organizations, we do not take sides in the politics of the region. We believe that we are called to point ALL to the Messiah. God sent his son to earth with one agenda … to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:11).  However, as believers, it’s all to easy to become confused and believe that our agenda is God’s agenda.  As one of our volunteers put it, “The difficulty is to feel the pain in people’s stories, while also finding ways to speak truth about reconciliation rather than resentment of an entire people group.”

Please know that safety is not our main concern. At least not physical safety. This is a spiritual battle and the stakes are high. We count it a privilege to have been placed here for such a time as this. Please join the battle with us on your knees. We covet your prayers of peace and reconciliation through Christ, now more than ever!

 

We Are The Persecuted Church

11194565_10204279293491212_3879659517419792258_oI Corinthians 12  “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body . . . There are many parts, but one body . . . If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

We often think of the persecuted church as far away. What happens to them is terrible, but it is not our problem. Right? How would our lives be different if we considered their persecution, to be our persecution as well?  Their trials as our trials? Their losses and abuses as though shared with us? “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;” According to I Corinthians 12, We are the persecuted church. Read more

When God asks you to choose Him over your dreams

Addie Abu Saada shares her story of what amazing things God can do in our lives if we are just willing to surrender our dreams and what we want, and allow Him to move in Great ways.

It All Started With A Broken Family … And A Promise

Once Upon A Time …

We often make a crucial mistake when reading the account of Abraham and his family in the book of Genesis. When we read the story, we see Abraham and Sarah, Abraham and Hagar, Sarah and Hagar or Isaac and Ishmael. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say, we see Abraham vs. Sarah, Abraham vs. Hagar, Sarah vs. Hagar and Isaac vs. Ishmael.

This story doesn’t feel like a children’s fairy tale with a happy ending. We see battle lines being drawn. We see a broken family. We see wrongs that need to be righted. And, depending on our perspective, those wrongs might look different for each of us. We want to take events that occurred over 4,000 years ago and apply them to current events in order to decide an outcome that aligns with our world view.

However, we make God very small-minded if we think He gave us Genesis as a way to judge who was right and who was wrong.

arrowInstead, everything in Genesis, as well as the remainder of the old testament, is a giant arrow that points straight to this world’s need for the Messiah. God repeatedly told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that through their seed, all the nations would be blessed. (Genesis 22:18, 26:4 and 28:14) And then, to make sure we don’t miss His point, He follows up with us in Galatians 3:16.

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. (For further study, read Galatians 3:13-16 and verse 29.)

This is where the fairy tale gets its happy ending. This story is not about what things went wrong, and what was broken, but how God made things right. The story is not so much about Abraham and his descendants, but rather, just one descendant. The only one that ever mattered. Jesus, The Messiah.

Often, when considering the Middle East conflict, we as believers take our notions of right and wrong in Genesis, and filter our opinions through that.  But this is exactly why Hope for Ishmael chooses to not be political in our support of efforts in the Holy Land. Genesis was not just about a broken family, but a Promise. A Promise for the whole world …

John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

13.1 Miles for a Great Cause

LHP 13.1 miles

Meet Ian.   On March 22, 2015 he started a GoFundMe site to raise $3,500 for LHP, in a half marathon he was running on March 29, 2015. That meant only seven days for this fundraiser to take place. His congregation had generously agreed to match the donations dollar for dollar, and so with only a week to make this happen, we partnered with him as well, in order to help this amazing school get some much needed funding.

And that’s where you stepped in. Making his dream into a reality, you donated $3,500 in just a week’s time! Thank you for stepping up and giving to this incredible school that has blessed so many families in Jerusalem. Because of you, they can continue their efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in their community!

To top it all off, he ran his best time, coming in at 1:52:02!  Way to go! Thank you, Ian, for doing what you love, to help the kids at LHP continue to go to school in a place they love.

God wants to use all of our talents and gifts to bless people all of over the world. How is he using yours?

If you would like to give so that we can continue to support programs like this one throughout the Holy Land, click on the button located to the right of this post.

Thank You!